California State Senate Committee on Public Safety Unanimously Passes Assembly Bill 909 – Rape Kit Tracking
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) announced that his bill to address the rape kit testing backlog passed the Senate Public Safety Committee with unanimous support today.
“AB 909 will require local law enforcement agencies to track and report on the number of rape kits they collect, test and decide not to test,” he described to committee members this morning. For untested rape kits, law enforcement agencies will be required to document the reason for not submitting the kit to be tested. Law enforcement agencies will also be required to submit this information to the Department of Justice on an annual basis. AB 909 now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Over the last several years, hundreds of thousands of unanalyzed rape kits have been discovered nationwide,” he noted in his statement to the committee. In response, several states have passed legislation that require rape kits to be analyzed in a timely manner. An October 2014 California State Auditor report highlighted the pressing need for California to more adequately track and report rape kits and recommended that law enforcement agencies report this information annually.
“I introduced AB 909 to bring justice to victims across the state whose perpetrators are able to walk freely because their rape kits are just sitting in evidence rooms unanalyzed,” Assemblymember Quirk stated. Due to the lack of tracking and reporting requirements, the total number of unanalyzed kits statewide is unknown.
Elected in 2012, Bill Quirk brings his PhD in astrophysics and career as an educator and scientist to the State Assembly. He is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety and a member of the Committees on Agriculture, Appropriations, Revenue & Taxation, and Utilities & Commerce.
CONTACT: Tomasa Dueñas, 916-319-2020